Pillars of Water Equity

The Water Equity Network is making strides towards a future where all communities and households have access to safe, clean, affordable drinking water and wastewater services; are resilient in the face of floods, drought, and other climate risks; have a role in decision-making processes related to water management in their communities; and share in the economic, social, and environmental benefits of water systems.

Pillars of Water Equity: Ensure all people have access to clean, safe, affordable ​water service; Maximize the community and economic benefits of water infrastructure investment; Foster community resilience in the face of a changing climateHistory of the Water Equity Network

Water is a force for equity and opportunity. Historically marginalized communities face an array of equity challenges: affordability, water quality concerns, flooding, and more. At the same time, water can be an essential part of building thriving, healthy communities for all. Water utilities can lead the way: they are anchor institutions that safeguard public health, protect the environment, and create economic opportunity. With the collaboration of cross-sector partners like community organizations, environmental groups, and local government, utilities can build more equitable water systems.

In 2017, the Alliance released An Equitable Water Future, a definitive report on the water challenges facing historically marginalized communities and opportunities to leverage water investment to create social, economic, and environmental benefits for all people.

The Water Equity Network builds on a two-year effort starting with the Water Equity Taskforce, which brought together seven cities working to implement equitable water management practices: Atlanta, Buffalo, Camden, Cleveland, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh. Each Taskforce team produced a roadmap to share local equity challenges and solutions used to overcome them, as well as priorities for future action. Learn more about the Taskforce and read their roadmaps here.

The Water Equity Network Today

The Water Equity Network now includes 44 cities nationwide that have created cross-sector partnerships to forward equitable water management practices, policies, and programs. This map highlights these cities and distinguishes cities that joined in 2023.

View the full map